Thursday, January 8, 2015

On being busy, surviving the busyness, and enjoying it as you go

   The calm before the storm. That's how this week feels as I gear up for the start of this semester.
   This will be my weekly teaching schedule for the next four months:
  • Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 - 11:15 a.m. = Digital Photojournalism (Owens)
  • Mondays from 11:30 - 1 p.m. - Owens Outlook student media weekly meeting
  • Thursdays from 5:30 - 7:45 p.m. = Digital Video (Owens)
  • Fridays from 9:35 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. = Digital Photo (Wayne State)
   And this is will be my Blade schedule:
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:30 - 10:30 p.m.
  • Saturday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
   Between classes and work I will prepare lesson plans, grade assignments, and spend a limited amount of free time with my family.
   They say that it's not work if you love what you do. I can attest to that.
   But I'm not alone. When I taught the Teaching Multimedia class last semester, most of the students, who are high school teachers earning their master's degree in Journalism Education, had other jobs: coaching sports and debate teams; teaching college classes; advising student media; raising kids.
   It's absolutely crazy how much we tend to pack into our days. Why, oh why, do I do this to myself?
   That's easy to answer - because I love teaching what I do for a living!
   It's certainly not for the money. Both the journalism field and the college environment are financially suffering. Both are cutting back on personnel and supplies. But both are so utterly and vitally important for our free society.
   Journalism, or the act of disseminating valuable (and sometimes not so valuable) information to our communities, is a civic duty that dates back to the beginning of the human race: think cavemen drawing pictures on cave walls.
  I'm often asked why and how I do it.
  Why? Because teaching feeds my soul. I no longer feel like I need to be the one who produces the work. My whole goal in my seasoned life is to teach others to do it. I am basically teaching the next generation to replace me. I'm proud to be able to contribute to the future of photojournalism.
  And how?  First and foremost, it's because I want to do it. To be able to handle everything, I have to be very organized and I don't procrastinate.
  I always get a kick out of those students who tell me they are too busy to complete assignments on time because they're too busy. Seven times out of 10 they don't even have full-time jobs or kids. That proves to me that success or failure isn't measured on how busy we are, but how we handle the busyness.
  Got that students? Let me summarize:
  •   Love what you do
  •   Be organized when you do it
  •   Don't procrastinate with what you must do
  These three ingredients to success will help you ride out the semester with little or no damage to your GPA or mental stability.
   Now, before the storm rolls in and drowns me in busyness, please excuse me while I catch up on episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show.

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